|JREF Homepage||Swift Blog||Events Calendar||$1 Million Paranormal Challenge||The Amaz!ng Meeting||Useful Links||Support Us|
|Welcome to the JREF Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.|
|View Poll Results: Which constitutional amendment is the most important?|
|First - Speech and religion||59||49.17%|
|Second - Right to bear arms||19||15.83%|
|Third - No quarting of soldiers||2||1.67%|
|Fourth - Search and seizure||3||2.50%|
|Fifth - Right to remain silent, eminent domain, etc.||1||0.83%|
|Sixth - Speedy trial / right to counsel||1||0.83%|
|Eighth - Cruel and unusual punishment||1||0.83%|
|Ninth - Reserved state powers||1||0.83%|
|Tenth - Rights reserved by the states||0||0%|
|Thirteenth - Abolish of slavery||7||5.83%|
|Fourteenth - Due process, equal prottection, incorporation||10||8.33%|
|Nineteenth - Women's sufferage||3||2.50%|
|Twenty-first - Repeal of prohibition||2||1.67%|
|Twenty-Second - Presidential term limits||1||0.83%|
|Twenty-Fourth - No poll taxes||1||0.83%|
|Twenty-Fifth - Presidential succession||1||0.83%|
|Twenty-Sixth - 18 year olds can vote||0||0%|
|Twenty-Seventh - Congressional pay raises are delayed||0||0%|
|Planet X has a Bill of Wrongs||7||5.83%|
|Voters: 120. You may not vote on this poll|
|17th July 2010, 12:58 PM||#281|
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St. Louis
Freedom of speech would be meaningless if the government were allowed to arrest you and hold you indefinitely without charges (no habeas corpus), or if you could be arrested or searched without due process (perhaps for using your so-called "freedom of speech").
That's why my response was that the Bill of Rights were ratified as a block concurrently with the ratification of the Constitution. I think as unit, they're the most important.
Some of them are so much a part of the fabric of our society that we don't even consider them important (like the 3rd Amendment). But try to imagine a government allowed to quarter soldiers in your house, and see if you'd still effectively have any freedom of speech and so on?
Many of the later amendments wouldn't even be necessary except that our culture did a crappy job of adhering to the principles in the body of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. (We really shouldn't have needed amendments to abolish slavery or extend the vote to women, for examples.)
"That is a very graphic analogy which aids understanding wonderfully while being, strictly speaking, wrong in every possible way." —Ponder Stibbons
|17th July 2010, 01:58 PM||#282|
Join Date: Nov 2007
|17th July 2010, 03:33 PM||#283|
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA...USA
If man came from dust, why is there still dust?
|18th July 2010, 01:14 PM||#284|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Lansing, Mich.
Late to the party. Haven't read the thread. My take:
1st is definitely in the top tier. I'm sure it's been discussed to death before me, so I'll just leave it at that as just being obviously one of the most important.
2nd, I totally get the argument that it's the most important, because it secures all the other rights. But I'm torn, because I only get that in theory. In practice, does that ever happen? Could it ever happen? In practice, doesn't it just secure our rights to hunt and not be burgled or mugged? I'll still put it in the top tier, but I'm torn.
4th is definitely top-tier. Even with a fourth amendment, we have unreasonable searches and seizures fairly often. I shudder to think where we would be without one.
5th is up there too. You've got grand juries (pretty good), double jeopardy (very good), self-incrimination (medium good), due process (extremely good), and takings (extremely good, but could arguably be better). DP alone might send this one to the top tier, but with all that other stuff, it's definitely a contender.
6th is definitely way up there. Speedy public trial by an impartial jury. Nature of charges. Compulsory process for subpoenaing witnesses. Confrontation! Assistance of counsel!!! Shoot, if the 2nd amendment protects all our other rights in theory, assistance of counsel does it in practice (at least with respect to criminal prosecutions).
7th, not in the top tier. I like jury trials, some don't. But I don't think we'd be lost without them. And the second part of the amendment would probably be general practice without the seventh amendment anyway, so, yeah. It's nice, but not one of the most important.
8th. Call me back when the death penalty is ruled unconstitutional.
9th. Should be totally unnecessary. Should be a truism. As it is, it's completely ineffectual. People all the time say "show me where there's a right to privacy in the constitution" as they complain about activist judges, apparently unaware that they are construing the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights to deny or disparage others retained by the people. Not in the top tier.
10th. A truism. Could say a lot more here I guess, but won't. Not in the top tier. The concept behind it is v. important, but the amendment itself, like I say, a truism.
11th. Better to have it, better to not? I don't know. Even if the eleventh is good, it's not one of the best.
14th. Oh man, one of the big ones. EP, DP, incorporation! Incorporation! You hear complaints about the creeping power of the federal government and the death of federalism, but it is still the case that your state government has far more power over your daily life than the federal government. Imagine a state unconstrained by the 1st amendment, 4th amendment, 6th amendment. I don't know how we did without it for so long. Of course, if you're a conservative, the 14th probably opened the door to some things you don't like too - a mixed bag. But it's definitely in the top tier.
16th - hugely important if you think about it. If you think we need an income tax, then we need a 16th amendment, without which an income tax would either be impractical or unconstitutional, depending on how it was administered.
3, 13, 15, 19, and 24 - these were very important when they were passed, but I kind of think if they were repealed today nothing would much change. I don't know.
12, 17, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27 - some of these are good, some are very good, and some are more important than others. But I think it's pretty obvious that none of them really rank up there with the most important.
21 - just not that important to me. Definitely a good thing.
So my candidates would be 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 14, and 16. How to rank them, it's difficult. I guess I will say - 1, 4, 6, 14, 5, 2, 16.
"We are talking about an old ladies genitals after all." - ponderingturtle